Following an impressive run in the World Cup, Uruguay is top of mind as a potential retirement spot and property investment. Montevideo, Uruguay is a strong investment choice within Uruguay with its impressive architecture, lively cultural scene, and low cost housing. See the following article from International Living for more on this.
It was fairly quiet at my apartment, which is unusual. I can usually hear Tango music drifting up from the square, the crowds chatting while waiting to enter the theater, or at least a bus going by. Today however, there was no traffic, and no one in the square.
But from my balcony, all I had to do was look to my left along Montevideo’s main avenue to see where everyone was.
About four blocks away in Plaza Independencia, I could hear a dull roar coming from thousands of people packed into that square. Even from this distance, I could see the massive wide screen—the size of a drive-in movie screen—that the city had erected in the square, showing Uruguay’s quarter-final World Cup match against Ghana.
And around 6.00 p.m., after a dead-even game, two overtime periods and a shoot-out, Uruguay won…and all hell broke loose.
The view from my balcony became bedlam, as hundreds of thousands of people took to the street…that is, the street that runs in front of my apartment. All I had was my cell phone…but you can see the video here.
This World Cup celebration exemplifies why I like living in Montevideo’s Centro district. It’s not the nicest area of the city or the most prestigious…although it enjoyed that distinction until the 1970s. But it’s certainly in the middle of all the action.
If you want a ringside seat for Uruguay’s famous Carnival…or to watch a procession of visiting Brazilian Samba schools…or go to one of dozens of theaters, then Centro is where you want to be.
You can also browse one of many excellent wine shops, visit our local coffee roaster (with his giant, working, antique roaster right in the shop), or smell the wood fires being stoked for the flame-broiled evening meal in one of Centro’s dozens of parrilladas.
It’s the place to buy clothes, electronics, linens, or anything that suits your fancy in one of its thousands of downtown stores…for those who prefer old-fashioned downtown shopping instead of malls.
Many expats also come to Centro for the magnificent antique Art Deco era homes, with their stained-glass windows and marble or painted-tile floors. Built in the early 1900s through the 1950s, these homes—with their 15-foot ceilings, balconies, and luxurious wood trim—harken back to Centro’s glory years.
While the adjacent Ciudad Vieja (Montevideo’s historic center) is far more popular, you’ll find that Centro is both safer and less expensive…one of the least expensive areas of the city.
Houses and apartments from this era will run between $450 and $900 per square meter ($42 to $83 per square foot), depending on the size you want and how much restoration you want to do.
For example, while preparing for our upcoming Live and Invest in Uruguay E-Conference, Margaret Summerfield found an apartment in the white building in the photo above for just $108,000. It’s around 1,300 square feet, and was built in 1929, in one of the city’s classic period buildings. (By the way, if you’re interested in this Uruguay E-Conference, you can sign up for advance notice here.)
A two-bedroom apartment in a newer (non-classic) building could cost less than $85,000, overlooking this same park.
So while Centro’s glory years may be in the past, it’s nonetheless easy to see why it’s the choice of many expats who come to Uruguay. If you want to be at the center of what’s going on in Montevideo, it’s the place to be.
This article has been republished from International Living.